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How Did God Appear to Man in The Old Testament

In the Old Testament, God made himself known to man in a variety of ways. He appeared to humans as a burning bush in the desert (Exodus 3:1), as a cloud by day or pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21-22), and as a man named Moses (Exodus 33:11).

In one instance, God even took the form of an angel who appeared to Abraham in human form (Genesis 18:1-3).

God also used dreams and visions to communicate with people such as Joseph (Genesis 37:5-11) and Daniel (Daniel 7:9-10).

He also spoke directly to people through his prophets, who were his spokesmen on earth. Examples include Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Hosea, Joel and Micah.

How Did God Appear to Man in The Old Testament

In the Old Testament, God appeared to man in a variety of ways. He appeared as a bush that burned but was not consumed (Exodus 3:1-6), he spoke with Moses from a burning bush (Exodus 3:2-4), and he appeared to Moses in the form of a man (Exodus 33:19). He also appeared as a pillar of fire and cloud by night (Exodus 13:21) and as a consuming fire by day (Exodus 19:18).

God also appeared as an angel who spoke to Abraham and told him to sacrifice his son Isaac (Genesis 22:11-15). God also appeared to Moses in the form of an angel (Exodus 3:2-4).

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How Did God Speak To Man In The Old Testament

The Old Testament is full of stories about people having experiences with God. But what did their experience look like? Did they see him as a man walking across a grassy field, or did they have some sort of vision?

God appeared to man in the Old Testament in many different ways. God sometimes appeared to people in dreams, and other times he appeared as a vision. Often, God would speak directly to someone; though for other people, he communicated with them through an angel.

In this lesson we will learn about how God spoke with the Israelites throughout their history.

God reveals his divine presence and protection to the Israelites by leading them out of Egypt and through the Sinai desert by appearing as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.

When Did God Appear To Man In The Old Testament?

While leading the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Sinai Desert, God reveals his divine Presence and Protection by taking the form of a Pillar of cloud by day and a Pillar of fire by night.

The Bible is filled with stories of people who had different types of experiences with God. Some saw him in dreams, others in visions, and still others through the form of angels. These appearances happened at different times throughout history, but all through the Old Testament (the first part of the Bible).

God appeared to man in many ways during this time period. In each case it was for a specific purpose or reason; however, one major thing that remains consistent throughout all these encounters is that God always wanted to communicate with mankind on an intimate level.

Did God Appear In Dreams?

God appeared in dreams. He did this four times, and the first was to Joseph:

Genesis 37:5-11 – Pharaoh had a dream that disturbed him so much that he called for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt to interpret it; but they could not. So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, who was sold into Egypt with his brothers during a time of famine in Canaan (Genesis 45:1). When they came before Pharaoh, Joseph told him that God would give Pharaoh an answer as soon as he had interpreted his dream: “Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile River when out of its waters there came up seven cows . . . When I saw them walking around stark naked, it struck me as odd.” Then Joseph declared that those seven cows represented seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. It turned out that what he said exactly matched what God told him through his father Jacob (Genesis 41:32-36).

Did God Appear In Visions?

God appeared in visions to people in the Old Testament. Visions were seen in dreams, or as a form of communication. The Bible shows that God has used visions throughout history to communicate with his people. For example, Moses saw a burning bush (Exodus 3:2-4). This is an example of God appearing through a vision to communicate with men about what he wanted them to do next.

Another example is Ezekiel’s vision of the cherubim (Ezekiel 1:1-27). In this vision, he was shown the glory and splendor of God—it was so amazing that he could not even stand up straight!

What Did God Look Like When He Appeared To Man?

How did God appear to man in the Old Testament?

  • As a man
  • As a pillar of fire
  • As a cloud
  • As a burning bush
  • As an angel with flaming sword (Exodus 3:2)

God also appeared as:


God appeared to man in many ways in the Old Testament. He appeared as a burning bush and as a pillar of cloud and fire. He sometimes spoke directly to men, while other times he spoke through angels.

God also revealed himself in visions and dreams. In fact, if you look back through the Bible, you will see that God spoke to Adam through a dream (Genesis 2:19). Moses saw God in a vision on Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:9-11). Jacob dreamed of angels ascending and descending on staircases inside his house (Genesis 28:12-13). God often sent His messages through dreams because it was easier for people to understand them than for him just to appear out of nowhere with no warning whatsoever!

It’s important to keep in mind that the Old Testament is full of stories of people that had different types of experiences with God.

It’s important to keep in mind that the Old Testament is full of stories of people that had different types of experiences with God. Some were messages from God, some were visions, some were dreams.

It’s also important to remember that “the Bible doesn’t make a clear distinction between what we would call ‘true visions” and “non-visions.” Even though God gave Moses direct commands and directions in his appearances (Exodus 3:1-6; Exodus 24:9-11), this was not a requirement for all appearances of God!

God appears as an angelic being in many cases throughout the Old Testament (Genesis 16:7; Genesis 18:1-19:38). Although these encounters are quite different than other manifestations of God’s presence described above (for example, they do not include an audible voice or physical touch), they are still considered legitimate manifestations because it was always confirmed afterward that it was indeed Jehovah who appeared on those occasions!


While the Old Testament is full of stories about God appearing in different ways, such as through dreams and visions, it’s important to understand that these are only stories from ancient times. The truth is that God has not appeared to man since then because he doesn’t want us to worship him like a god or idol—he wants us to follow his commandments and live our lives as Christians in order for us all be saved.

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